5

White House confirms upcoming Obama visit to SF

As previously reported here, the White House now confirms President Barack Obama will return to the Bay Area next week to raise money for his fellow Democrats.

“On Friday, the President will travel to the Seattle, WA area to attend an event for Senator Patty Murray and the Washington State Democratic Party and a DNC event. Later in the day, the President will travel to the San Francisco, CA area for a DNC event. The President will remain overnight in San Francisco,” a White House official said. “On Saturday, October 9, the President will attend a DNC event and travel to the Los Angeles area for DNC and DSCC events. Further details about the President’s travel to Washington and California will be made available in the coming days.”

No comment from the White House on the president’s potential “come to Yeezus” moment.

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Inside Obama’s DSCC fundraiser in Portola Valley

Again, here’s the pool report I just filed to the White House:

From the Palo Alto event, POTUS’ motorcade made its way back out to Highway 101 South, to Oregon Expressway, to Page Mill Road, to Interstate 280 North, to Alpine Road, to Los Trancos Road. Finally, it proceeded up the vineyard-lined private drive to the palatial home of venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, a cofounder of Sun Microsystems, and his wife, Neeru. POTUS arrived at 7:32 p.m. Pacific Time.

Reporters were ushered into the house at 7:54 p.m. as Khosla addressed the crowd of only a few dozen who’d paid $32,400 each for this DSCC fundraising dinner. Khosla said he met Obama while he was a senator and found him “amazingly adept” at energy issues. POTUS took the microphone at 7:56 p.m.

POTUS thanked the Khoslas “and these beasts” – their large, shaggy dogs – for hosting the event. “These two could eat Bo,” he said, gesturing toward the canines. He acknowledged the presence of DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

Obama again described his visit this morning to the Mooresville, N.C., middle school which has vastly improved its performance by moving to a laptop-based, high-tech teaching system. “The passion that young people now have for learning… because of that, the school has transformed itself.” The administration’s new goal is that within five years, all schools will have broadband and wireless access to transform the nation’s educational system “and save money in the process,” he said.

Silicon Valley knows of this transformation better than anywhere else, he said, and now the question is how to engage the rest of the nation, how to make sure everyone has access to the resources for success.

After an extraordinary economic crisis, things are getting better, he said. Referencing his meeting Friday with the president of China, “when you look at the challenges they face and the challenges we face, I’ll take our challenges any day of the week,” but we have to make our government work again.

Government has an important role to play from education to regulatory structure that encourages clean energy and protection of intellectual property, and if we get that part of it right, nothing can stop us, the president said.

“From my perspective, that’s what it means to be a Democrat… that’s what leads us to believe in this democratic ideal,” he said. “So in order for us to accomplish that, we’re going to need to have a Democratic Senate.”

Democrats have no monopoly on wisdom, he reiterated, and he’ll continue to reach out across the aisle in search of Republican cooperation. “But on too much of the big stuff, what we see coming out of the other party is an interest in winning elections or in obstruction, not enough interest in solving problems. Too often what we see is the notion that compromise is a dirty word. And sometimes what we see is the denial of science, around climate change for example.”

He remains optimistic, he said, because of the kids he saw in North Carolina and the businesses he sees in Silicon Valley. “But I’m going to need your help to make that happen… and if you’re willing to engage and be involved and stay committed… then I think we’ll succeed.”

POTUS finished speaking at 8:07 p.m. Reporters were ushered out before he started taking questions from the crowd.

4

Inside Obama’s DSCC fundraiser in Palo Alto

Here’s the local pool report I’ve just filed to the White House:

Air Force One landed at 5:50 p.m. Pacific Time at Moffett Field in Mountain View. POTUS was greeted on the tarmac by Dr. S. Pete Worden, director of the NASA Ames Research Center; Lewis Braxton III, NASA Ames’ deputy director; Col. Steve Butow, USAF Air National Guard, commander of the 129th Rescue Wing; Mountain View Mayor John Inks; and Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri.

The motorcade left at 6:01 p.m., heading north on Highway 101 to the University Avenue exit in Palo Alto, then winding into town to the home of Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and his wife Marci. Tickets for this reception to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee started at $2,500 per head and ranged up to $12,000 per person or $15,000 per couple. A long line of well-heeled guests wended through the garden and into the side door of the photo for photos with the president.

The McCue and the president strode out the home’s back door and to a podium on the back patio at 6:38 p.m.

McCue said Obama “absolutely understands what’s happening in Silicon Valley” and has “a holistic approach to the economy,” understanding that the economy and society are intertwined.

“It is good go be back in California, especially when the weather is this good,” the president said, thanking the McCues and acknowledging the presence of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., chairman of the DSCC.

Obama said he visited a school earlier Thursday in Mooresville, N.C., where the superintendent decided a few years ago to get rid of textbooks and replace them with a laptop for every student, starting in third grade. That and having teachers rethink the whole curriculum has made it a low-spending but high-performing district now.

“You could see these kids just excited about learning and wanting to keep learning well after the school day was done,” he said.

And so the new initiative is that in five years, all schools will have high-speed connections to all students can take advantage of these technologies. “One of the best things about this is, we don’t need a vote through Congress,” he said, drawing cheers from the crowd.

The economy is coming back, jobs are being created every month, the auto industry has recovered and financial markets are stabilizing, and so America is poised to make the 21st century its own, Obama said.

Whether it’s education, infrastructure, fiscal policies, “on all these issues, there’s a range of common-sense solutions available to us right now, and if we implement them, we’re going to leave an America behind for our kids and grandkids that is stronger and more prosperous than ever before,” he said. “We’ve got what we need in order to succeed.”

But “too often government is getting in the way of this process,” Obama said, though government must help play a role no matter how robust the private sector is. “There are some things we do better together… Often the private sector cannot or will not make those investments.”

“The reason that Washington is a problem is that right now, it’s broken – it’s not working the way it needs to,” he said.

Democrats “don’t have a monopoly on wisdom” but “we’re just not getting a lot of cooperation from the other side,” he said. There are some “glimmers of functionality,” like Bennet working with the Gang of 8 on immigration reform, but many other issues remain stymied.

Democrats believe in “a light touch” of regulations and taking care not to over-tax, but government must play its part nonetheless, he said. No other advanced nation lacks universal health care, he said, and so this must be made to happen here. And roadblocks like budget sequestration are freezing funds for important research that could move the economy forward. “We have a role to play.”

Climate change will be the most important choice this generation makes, and “we’re going to have to make some collective decisions about this,” he said. In the face of science that’s “irrefutable,” we have to balance clean energy and other means of carbon reduction with economic growth.

“Here’s the bottom line: I have never been more optimistic about America than I am right now,” Obama said, noting that people have remarked upon his gray hair and the difficulties of his job. Despite tough economic times, “we’re more inclusive, we’re more prosperous, we are less violent now than just about any time in human history, and that should give us hope.”

“But we’ve got to get this right, and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is if I’ve got people in Congress who share my optimism and share the sense that there are solutions out there and that compromise is not a dirty word,” he said, exhorting the crowd to be optimistic and stay engaged. “Ultimately our government represents us, and if we neglect it, it doesn’t work.”

POTUS finished speaking at 6:56 p.m. He worked the rope line briefly before returning to the car; motorcade departed for the fundraising dinner in Portola Valley at

5

Joe Biden in SF June 17 to raise money for Dems

Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Bay Area later this month to raise money for the Democratic National Committee.

Joe BidenBiden is set to headline a breakfast on Monday, June 17, at the home of Doug Hickey, 58, – CEO of BinWise, former managing director at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and former CEO of Critical Path – and his wife, attorney Dawn Ross, in San Francisco’s pricey Sea Cliff area.

Tickets start at $500 per person; $2,500 also buys a photo with Biden, with another $2,500 for each additional person in the photo. Tickets to a private “clutch reception” with Biden cost $10,000 per person. The event is capped at 125 people and 50 photos.

Shefali Razdan Duggal of San Francisco, a member of the DNC national finance committee member and the White House Council on Women and Girls, sent out the invite with “a very personal perspective which I identify with Vice President Joe Biden.”

“Our current Vice President is one of the most remarkably kind and authentic electeds whom I have had the privilege to encounter,” Duggal wrote. “The Vice President has met my very introverted and reserved mother, and the manner in which he treated her, with tremendous dignity and respect, has and will remain within her heart for many years to follow. I would genuinely encourage anyone who has the desire and/or ability to attend this breakfast event with Vice President Joe Biden to do so, for the reason to meet and speak with such a sincere and radiant spirit.”

Biden’s visit will come less than two weeks after President Barack Obama is scheduled to raise money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this coming Thursday, June 6, at a reception in Palo Alto and a dinner in Portola Valley. Obama was last here in early April raising money for the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Democrats need every penny they can raise: Most experts say their chances of taking back a House majority in 2014 are slim to none, and next year’s U.S. Senate playing field looks to be weighted in Republicans’ favor.

UPDATE @ 8:35 A.M. FRIDAY 6/7: The date of this event has changed.

1

DiFi hosting fundraiser tonight for Senate Dems

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, though her campaign was the victim of a tremendous embezzlement, seems unconcerned enough about her own re-election race that she’s hosting a fundraiser tonight mostly for other Democratic Senate candidates.

The 6:30 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. dinner tonight at her home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood will benefit the Heartland Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Feinstein; U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp; Nebraska U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kerrey; and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Tester, Heitkamp and Kerry will attend tonight’s dinner.

Tickets for the dinner cost from $15,000 per person to $35,800 per couple. The first $5,000 of each contribution will be allocated evenly between Feinstein’s, Tester’s, Kerrey’s, McCaskill’s and Heitkamp’s campaigns; the next $30,800 of each contribution from a person, and the next $15,000 of each contribution from a multicandidate committee, will go to the DSCC.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee took its shots this morning.

“It’s funny how the road from North Dakota to Washington keeps leading Heitkamp through the hills of San Francisco and Los Angeles,” NRSC spokesman Lance Trover said in a news release. “If North Dakotans want to see who Heidi Heitkamp will stand with in Washington, they don’t need to look any further than to see who she is hobnobbing with in San Francisco.”

Kerrey, who lived and worked in New York City from 2001 to 2010 as a university president, got a similar verbal beatdown.

“Last week, Democrat Bob Kerrey wanted to keep outside money out of Nebraska yet today he’s collecting cash from Dianne Feinstein’s liberal friends in San Francisco,” NRSC spokesman Jahan Wilcox said. “It’s clear liberals in New York and San Francisco know that Bob Kerrey will once again be a loyal vote for their big government agenda of higher taxes and reckless spending.”

3

Carly Fiorina to help run GOP’s 2012 Senate push

Will the Demon Sheep campaign method be writ large upon next year’s Senate elections? 2010 Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina has become a vice chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, chairman U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced this morning.

Fiorina 6-17-10 in Sacramento (AP Photo)The NRSC’s news release said Fiorina, serving with Cornyn and NRSC Vice Chairman U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, “will amplify Senate Republicans’ focus on healing America’s troubled economy, and assist with the NRSC’s crucial fundraising efforts in support of a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.”

“I’m pleased to welcome my friend Carly Fiorina to the NRSC team, where her many business and civic achievements will make her an invaluable leader and fundraiser during this critical election cycle,” Cornyn, R-Texas, said in the release. “I look forward to working with Carly to elect strong Republican Senators who will finally put a stop to President Obama’s failed tax-and-spend agenda, and instead promote the economic growth and job creation Americans so badly need.”

Fiorina said the Senate sets the nation’s legislative agenda and she’s proud to work with the NRSC to restore a GOP majority next year. “Republicans in the Senate will provide job creators the opportunities and environment they need to grow our economy, decentralize power out of Washington, and restore fiscal accountability.”

The former HP chairwoman and CEO first got her feet wet in politics supporting 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. She defeated former congressman Tom Campbell and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, in the June 2010 GOP primary, but lost in November to incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., by 10 percentage points.

UPDATE @ 2:48 P.M.: “Carly Fiorina laid off thousands and outsourced good American jobs overseas, but that didn’t stop national Republicans from investing millions in her campaign last year, which she lost by double digits, or hiring her today,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Press Secretary Shripal Shah said today. “Apparently, Republicans are not only protecting tax breaks for millionaires, they’re also finding them jobs.”